Tonight I went to a live taping of one of my favorite podcasts, Why Oh Why. It’s a show about relationships and dating. I swear sometimes the host is inside my head saying everything out loud for her listeners that I am thinking (and sometimes writing about). When checking in to the show, you got to pick a name tag for yourself: Hi I’m Single or Hi I’m Not Single. There were also numbered paddles for the singletons. After you gave a brief bio to the ticket-taker, she was meant to give the matching numbered paddle to your “wingman”. And while this was actually a misnomer, the point was to match a man and a woman together so they could start chatting and, of course, fall in love.
Dear Lindy and Roxane,
Thank you for giving me the vehicle for finding out what a horrible man my date last night was. Before we even met in real life, let’s call him Rod, Rod made a “joke” about how he was going to bring “rufies” to our first date. I told him it was a terrible, terrible joke and that hopefully he was smacking himself on the forehead right at that moment. He couldn’t possibly have been serious, and certainly he was embarrassed by his lack of tact about a topic that IS. NOT. FUNNY. Of course, I knew this before I read both of your books (Lindy’s Shrill & Roxane’s Bad Feminist), but after having read both of your accounts about the absolutely not funny Daniel Tosh (watch this video to see more about the reference below), I felt empowered to have a conviction, that even if it’s a “joke”, rape isn’t funny, and pretending to bring a drug that allows you to rape someone isn’t funny.
My best friend is a wife and a mother of three beautiful children. She lives in a giant, beautiful, old home in the historic district of Oak Park. They have a full-time nanny, a backyard, and loads of friends who also have nannies and backyards.
I love her children as if they were my niece and nephews. We play trains together, put together puzzles, and read books. We discuss their school days and I show them on the map where I’m traveling next.
While being auntie is great and I enjoy being able to “give them back” when they’re crying, snotting, or have a dirty nappy, I want more than just being AA (their nickname for Aunt Ashley). I, too, want to be a wife, mother, and owner of a home with a backyard. And while I love being an auntie who can do whatever I want when I want, including multiple vacations a year, date nights by myself to the movies, and trying out new dance classes that start at obscenely late hours (8:30?!), I fear this isn’t going to be enough for the rest of my life.
As a non-religious, but spiritual [insert yogi-minded] person, the idea of fate is a tricky one. I know that there is no god up in the air manipulating my marionette strings to do and say certain things. I don’t believe that my life’s plan was already written before I was born. But, this idea of fate – yes the idea of fate, not the pre-determined by god, supernatural definition of fate – has always been very striking to me.
I truly believe that things happen for a reason. Not because they were “destined to” or because someone wrote it in the “book of Ashley”, but because life is mysterious. Life works its way so that when one event happens it changes the course of future events. Or maybe because an event happened, you’ve learned this grand (or small) life lesson that’ll inform how you lead the rest of your life.
When I was in Toronto recently a guy I knew in college posted online that he was also visiting Toronto. I wrote, “I’m here, too! Enjoy!” Immediately, he messaged me: let’s meet up! I was with my parents and figured that leaving the house at 10pm to meet up with a bachelor party wasn’t the best idea. He lives in Chicago, though, so I suggested we meet up when we both returned stateside. We made plans for the following week, and continued to talk throughout the whole weekend.
I woke up on a recent Friday morning inexplicably happy. A smile was permanently on my face from the time the alarm buzzed to the time I got home. I was terribly nice to every person who called me at work. I ended every email with a: Have a great weekend!
It’s hard to believe that this happiest of happy days was only 1 week after the boy-of-nearly-7-months and I had broken up. I was, in fact, happy that the relationship was over. The boy-of-nearly-7-months and I weren’t perfect matches. We tried fitting ourselves together like two mismatched puzzle pieces for the last 5 months of the relationship and it consistently ended up with a lopsided puzzle. I miss my partner in crime, but I don’t really miss the boy-of-nearly-7-months (though I do miss his dog a whole lot).
“Let Go and Let God”
It’s certainly not an expression you’d ever hear me say, let alone believe, yet when a friend wrote about it in a recent blog post, it stuck with me. Not because I believe that God is doing anything for me, but because sometimes I really do need to let go and let life happen as it happens.
The guy I’m dating may soon be the guy I dated. We had “the talk” last night and agreed to meet up this weekend to discuss where we see our relationship going. I don’t have high hopes. For the last 24 hours, I’ve been nervously chewing over every little thing about him, about us, about me, about my future, about…you get the point. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t do anything other than think about the fact that I may be single very soon and if that’s something I actually want (because, admittedly, it might be something that I want even though it terrifies me).
My brain hurts. My heart hurts. My eyeballs hurt. And, while I can’t physically eat a giant cupcake or guzzle a glass of wine right now, I can Let Go and Let God or more appropriately for me – let go. I don’t have to decide today, tomorrow, or next week who I’m going to marry, if I should have a baby by myself, if I should adopt a kid, or if I should move to Seattle to start fresh. Instead, today, tomorrow, and next week, I need to take part in some self-love in order to let go.